Greater Brighton Metropolitan College’s definition of a ‘care leaver’ is a young person who has spent a total of 13 weeks or more in care after the age of 14. Care experienced students who do not fall into this category are considered ‘previously looked after’ and are not entitled to the same level of financial support as care leavers, however, they can still access pastoral support at the college.
The following supporting is available for all care experienced students:
- 1:1 support from pastoral mentors to discuss any issues arising for the student; this could include relationship and friendship issues, sexual health, financial or housing concerns, substance misuse, physical or mental health needs, or any worries or anxieties
- WP team available to offer progression support. This can be for students progressing within FE or moving onto HE, and includes course content; the application process, including personal statements, application forms, interviews; fees and finance; preparing for university
- Priority access to all WP holiday programmes: these are free 2-5 day programmes run throughout the year in the school holidays and cover a range of subjects such as Art and Design, Photography, Engineering, Games Development and Music
- Priority access to relevant masterclasses and industry talks. Students are asked to declare whether they are care experienced in their application form to college; a report is then run to identify which students are care experienced so they can be emailed information about relevant talks and workshops, and we can ensure that these students are given priority in all WP programmes and activities
- All external WP activity promoted through virtual schools, foster carer networks and social work teams in Brighton and Hove and West Sussex
- Care leaver page on website. This outlines the support available and is advertised and made visible on open days and included in correspondence to, and shared with, virtual schools, local authorities, foster carers networks, NNECL South East Regional Group
- Support from the dedicated HE Pastoral Mentor
- 1:1 support from the WP team to assist with securing housing, including help to search, contacting landlords and accompanying students to viewings where requested
- Priority access to WP programmes:
- Industry Mentoring Scheme: students in 2nd and 3rd year matched with a mentor in a relevant industry to help with their professional development, knowledge of industry practices, networking skills
- HE Student Ambassador Programme: a paid role for HE students to be trained as WP ambassadors: students work on WP engagement programmes in the college and events, workshops and talks in local schools, 6th forms, colleges and community organisations.
- Alumni network current under development to support collaborative working across courses and offer discounts to former students, for instance, in hiring the music studios or theatre: care leavers can be given priority for these
In addition to the above, care leavers are also entitled to the below support:
- The Inclusion Team work closely with the mentors at the college to make sure care leavers are supported
- The Inclusion Team also work with outside agencies to update any information we need on the learner or if there are any concerns regarding them
- A Pathway Plan will be written by the young person’s Local Authority at age 16 and then be reviewed every 6 months or on request from the LA, young person or Social worker/PA. The college plays an active part in supporting young people update and adhere to their pathway plans.
- Guaranteed bursary arranged by the mentor team for care leaver students
- Support for FE students looking at local universities – including cost of travel, WP team contacting relevant universities to arrange bespoke visits and accompanying students where requested
- Named person at the college for entry and enquiries, responsible for working with and supporting the transition to and through FE
- Named person at the college for entry and enquiries, responsible for working with and supporting the transition to and through HE
- Care leaver bursary for full-time students. To qualify for this bursary, students need to fill in an application form and attach a supporting letter from their personal advisor.
- Additional training for all staff on how to communicate in an inclusive way, particularly with potentially vulnerable students – this should include staff in support roles such as reception as well as teaching staff
- 20% discount for care experienced people, social workers and virtual school staff in the student-run restaurants in Brighton and Worthing and in the college beauty salons. A discount code will be sent via email to local authority contacts, virtual schools and care experienced young people enrolled at the college. It will also be available by request from .
- Publicity for end of year shows sent to local care leaver contacts
- Links with the local virtual schools, leaving care teams in the local authority, foster carers’ association, relevant community groups, ensuring all outside events are publicised in the community and priority access is given to young people from care experienced backgrounds to attend WP outreach initiatives at the college, e.g. holiday programmes, masterclasses
- Free basic cooking skills course for care experienced young people, young people from supported accommodation, and those progressing to university (care experienced and young people from supported accommodation will be given priority) in summer 2021.
- 1:1 support available for students from care experienced backgrounds with their education pathways from the WP team
- Membership on the NNECL South East Regional Group